If I was terminated what are my rights to PTO pay?

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If I was terminated what are my rights to PTO pay?

I was terminated and the employee handbook states,

Asked on February 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Neither federal nor your state's law requires payment of accrued but unused PTO. IF the employee  handbook constitutes a written contract guarantying you the pay, then you'd be paid it, because in that instance, the employer has contractually obligated itself to pay. But the big question is: is the handbook a contract?
To  be a contract, the promise to pay the vacation on termation must in all ways be unequivocal, which also means that there must be no limitations in the handbook on its enforceability. If the handbook contains any language similar to--
"All employment is employment at will"
"Nothing in this handbook creates a contract or guaranty of employment"
"Policies are subject to change at will"
Etc.
--then the policies therein are not binding and enforceable, and the employer may choose to pay (or not pay) whatever it wishes for PTO on termination. But if the handbook (or the vacation policy specifically) contains no limitations on its enforceability, then there is a good chance that an enforceable agreement as to payment of vacation was formed, and that if not paid as per the handbook, you could sue the employer for "breach of contract" for the money.


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